The Los Angeles Kings have claimed Christian Wolanin of waivers. Given that the team has immediately assigned him to the minor leagues, they were the only team to put in a claim. The Buffalo Sabres, who claimed Wolanin earlier this year, will lose him after putting him in the lineup just once.
This likely isn’t what Wolanin was expecting when he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Kings in July, one that came with a very healthy minor league guarantee of $400K. Instead of playing for the Ontario Reign so far though, he’s been in the NHL all year acting as a practice option. He has suited up for just a single game, that one in Buffalo, and it occurred back on November 8. He’ll now have to head to the minors and hope he can get back up to game speed quickly, if he wants to contribute at all for Los Angeles down the road.
The Kings do have defensive injuries, even though they got Drew Doughty back last night. Adding some experienced depth like Wolanin is important, especially now that they can hide him in the minors until needed. It’s been a long time since he even played regularly there, with only 12 AHL games since the end of the 2018-19 season.